PHONETIC ALPHABETS

U.S. Army 1916:

Able Buy  Cast Dock Easy  Fox   George Have  Item
Jig  King Love Mike Nap   Opal  Pup    Quack Rush
Sail Tape Unit Vice Watch X-ray Yoke   Zed
    Between the Wars, the Navy understandably changed the words Dock, Vice, and Watch. Not so understandable are the introduction of Affirmative, Interrogation, Negative, and Preparatory until you remember that these letters stand for semaphore flag names, where the activity and letter are the same.
U.S. Navy 1930s:

Affirmative Baker Cast  Dog    Easy     Fox    George      Hypo  Interrogatory
Jig         King  Love  Mike   Negative Option Preparatory Queen Roger
Sail        Tare  Unit  Victor William  X-ray  Yoke        Zed

Bluejackets' Manual 1940.
Affirm Baker Cast Dog    Easy    Fox    George Hypo  Int
Jig    King  Love Mike   Negat   Option Prep   Queen Roger
Sail   Tare  Unit Victor William Xray   Yoke   Zed
    Note the gradual replacement of words that might be mistaken for part of a message. The long word is shorted for the phonetic letter: Affirmative could mean "yes"; affirm is "A".
U.S. Army/Navy 1941.
Affirm Baker Cast  Dog     Easy     Fox         George Hypo   Inter
Jig    King  Love  Mike    Negat    Option/Over Prep   Queen  Roger
Sail   Tare  Unit  Victor  William  Xray        Yoke   Zed
    Task Force names for the invasion of Guadalcanal included AFFIRM and CAST from the old list and NAN, SUGAR, and ZEBRA from a new list introduced early in the war. I was in after the conversion to NATO and we interchanged WW2 and NATO words with no trouble. So, we can suspect that Task Force AFFIRM was a carryover from the 1941s list and the rest used the newest list.
Communications Handbook 1942.
Able  Baker Charlie Dog    Easy    Fox   George How   Item
Jig   King  Love    Mike   Nan     Oboe  Peter  Queen Roger
Sugar Tare  Uncle   Victor William X-ray Yoke   Zebra
    In the 1942 joint list, AFFIRM, INTER, NEGAT and PREP are gone. Confusion with the "O" becomes clear with OBOE. Military words SAIL and UNIT are cleared up. HYPO ambiguity is eliminated. ZED is a word to Americans, but it is the normal pronunciation for "Z" in the Commonwealth, so not really a phonetic word. CHARLIE and ZEBRA are introduced from familiarity with British versions.


Bluejackets' Manual 1940, Revised 1942.
    The 1940 edition was used throught the war. My copy was actually printed in 1942 and has ten old words crossed out and the new words printed above to conform with the Army/Navy standards represented in the Communications Handbook.

    This wartime phonetic alphabet lasted until the NATO alphabet was introduced in 1952 and adopted about 1955. It was obviously devised by an international committee, but has seen service for a half century.
NATO 1955
Alpha   Bravo Charlie Delta  Echo     Foxtrot Golf   Hotel  India
Juliet  Kilo  Lima    Mike   November Oscar   Papa   Quebec Romeo
Sierra  Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey  X-ray   Yankee Zulu